Tag Archives: Dora

Forcible Drawing

Long ago, I made the mistake of drawing Lily some of her favorite cartoon characters. I’m no expert, but my Boots monkey bears enough of a resemblance to the real Boots monkey that she obsessively asked me to draw it again. Ever since then, whenever crayons or chalk come out instead of my kids drawing, I am forced to repeatedly draw Dora, Boots and a few other characters.

Things I'm being forced to draw against my will

Some of my characters are better mastered than others. If you can call ANY of them “mastered”.

Now Rose is in on the action and I really feel like I’m being accosted with the two of them after me to draw. Drawing should be about THEM coloring and drawing, but somehow it’s become this event where crayons or chalk are physically forced into my hands and small people are yelling “Draw Dora, Mommy! Draw Dora, Mommy!” over and over again, even if I just drew Dora 2 seconds beforehand.

Even my husband is being forced to draw these characters.

I should stop trying so hard because my kids recognize THESE as the characters!

Rose is particularly forceful and will find paper and a crayon and carry it across the house to find me, interrupt whatever I’m doing and “force” me to draw for her. She demands Dora, Boots, Elmo and Baby Elmo (a slightly smaller Elmo from a time I accidentally drew two of them) over and over again, to the point where I get an exasperated tone with her and refuse. “NO! I JUST drew Dora. She’s right here. I am not drawing her again! Go do something else! Or better yet, YOU draw Dora!”

Seriously. I thought the KIDS were supposed to draw, or at least color what I draw for them. Instead drawing is about watching Mommy create poor-to-mediocre imitations of tv characters and family members.

Someday they HAVE TO draw their own Dora, right?

If I have to draw Dora one more time, I’m going to scream. Not only is it boring and repetitive, but my inability to get her freakish pumpkin head the right shape irks me to no end. Why can’t I get her chin right? And MORE seriously WTF is up with her freakish pumpkin head to begin with?

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Invisible Dora

Monday night as I put Lily to sleep, she said “Wait! I have to put Dora to sleep!” and set up this tiny dollhouse and blanket on the floor. The dollhouse is Dora’s toy from her Magical Welcome House and the blanket came with the house as well (no Boots figurine was included). This is what it looked like:

“Where’s Dora?” I asked.

“She’s under the blanket. She’s so teeny tiny little that you can’t even see her!” Lily said. Then she tucked teeny tiny Dora in and kissed her goodnight.

“Who’s in the dollhouse?” I asked.

“No one. It’s just Dora’s toy.”

Ok then.

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Toy WTF: Dora’s Wild West Adventure MegaBloks

Check out this Dora block set and tell me if you are as baffled by it as am I.

When my grandmother bought Lily this beloved set, I promptly threw the packaging away, leaving me clueless as to what Dora is supposed to be doing here. She has a lasso, so clearly she must be lassoing something… but the only cattle available is Benny the Bull.

True, Benny IS livestock so in that sense it would make sense to lasso him, but he’s also anthropomorphised. He’s so human and so likable that it seems wrong to have Dora lassoing him. Why would she do that to him? It would knock him down and humiliate him.

But when I look more carefully at the publicity shots on Amazon, it seems that Dora is supposed to be lassoing Swiper.

Even though Swiper is sneaking around in a cactus costume, this also doesn’t seem right. True, Swiper likes stealing things from Dora and that’s wrong, but he almost always gives it back. IMMEDIATELY. He steals without a purpose besides annoyance as far as I can tell. And while I don’t condone stealing, it doesn’t seem right to lasso Swiper either. It seems counterintuitive that that’s whom Dora should be roping when there’s also a bull around. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

So I’m baffled. Perhaps this ‘Cowgirl Dora’ DVD has a Swiper lassoing scene, but I don’t know. I haven’t seen it and wasn’t able to find a descriptive enough plot summary to figure out if such a scene transpires.

So I’m left in the dark. Why the hell is Dora lassoing other characters in this toy? If only there was a regular cow or bull without human characteristics included with this toy. Then Dora would have something to lasso without ethical dilemmas.

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Toy WTF: Yes, Another Dora Complaint

I’ve written before about how it is almost impossible to find secondary Dora characters in toy stores. Here’s a picture of our local Toys R Us’s Dora section. Despite the fact that Boots is Dora’s co-star, not a single Boots figurine could be found– not to mention the missing Benny the Bull, Isa the Iguana, Tico the Squirrel and Swiper the Fox.

There is apparently only one character on "Dora".

To make matters worse, the one item that DID include a picture of Boots on the packaging was misleading. Doesn’t it look like this bag contains a Boots Monkey?

If you think this case contains a Boots, you are wrong.

How could you make a bag with Boots so blatantly displayed and then not include him? The bag contained a Dora doll and that was about it. WTF?

Let’s get more Boots in the toy stores. I know he’s available online and that’s great, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who does most of my toy-buying the old-fashioned way. Boots deserves at least 1/4 of the space on the shelves that Dora has, but he’s completely missing. Seriously, toy stores, WTF?

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TV Tuesday: There’s No Swiping on Christmas

If you have a 3 year old, you’ve probably seen the Dora Christmas Carol episode at least once since its debut last year. It was on tv at least twice today alone. As part of my insane dedication to this blog, today I actually turned it on and half paid attention. I stopped paying attention to Dora a long time ago, so this is a big deal. Here are my observations:

*Santa punishes Swiper for swiping on Christmas. Swiper ultimately agrees to stop swiping… but apparently only on Christmas? In all the new episodes since this episode aired, Swiper is still swiping. I guess it’s only bad to swipe when it’s Christmas, otherwise steal away! Santa doesn’t care!

*When Dora and Swiper travel to the past, all of the characters are exactly the same age, including the Grumpy Old Troll. How old could the troll be if he was a baby at the same time as Dora, Boots and the gang? While he’s a baby, the Grumpy Old Troll sings the Grumpy Old Troll theme song. This makes no sense because he’s a baby. He should sing “I’m a Grumpy Baby Troll” at that point.

*When they go to the future, all the characters have aged at the same rate except for Swiper who is sporting an old man beard. Apparently foxes age exponentially faster than squirrels, iguanas, monkeys, bulls, trolls and people.

*Future Dora’s head is about half the width of current pumpkin head Dora. I guess as she grows up, her head will shrink. While it works in her favor, it’s weird. You’d think this would make her lose brain cells.

*Santa talking at the beginning and end of the episode was kind of creepy.

*Swiper contemplates swiping a bone from a dog when in a prior episode it’s revealed that Swiper loves dogs, owns Dora’s dog’s twin and would never ever swipe from a dog. I guess he forgot about on Christmas.

*Swiper learns the meaning of Christmas: making sure you get a lot of presents from Santa by being good on Christmas Day only. (He also learned to share, but again that seems to have been a one time thing.)

I much prefer the “Wonder Pets” Christmas episode where they end up using all the gifts they gave each other to help save a baby reindeer. Santa repays them for their good deed by giving them back the very presents they lost, only better.

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Watch Out on Those Dollhouse Purchases

I’ve written before about how Boots doesn’t come with the Dora Magical Welcome House and the trauma this caused to my then 2-year-old. Another mom, Katie, has sent in pictures of an advertisement for the Dora Windows Surprise Dollhouse.

Looks like it comes with a bunch of stuff, right? I mean, you’d think a plastic dollhouse would come with a couple of accessories. Well, be careful. As I learned with our Dora’s Magical Welcome dollhouse, they aren’t even thoughtful enough to include Boots in the dollhouse– only Dora. Check out this product description from Amazon:

“Included are a Dora figure and a couch but you can add on and decorate your dollhouse with additional figures, furniture and accessories (each sold separately).”

So, you get a couch and a Dora. Woo hoo! Fun times playing with Dora talking to herself and sitting on a couch only.

Take a look at the Boots accessory pack you can buy separately:

A couple of things bother me about this. A) Why does Boots always come with Isa instead of Dora? Boots and Isa very rarely talk and they certainly don’t go together more than Boots goes with Dora. If anything, Isa and Tico should be sold together, not Boots and Isa. B) Why the hell is Boots wearing a raincoat?!

I am again insulted for Boots.

But I really wrote this to remind you as you do your holiday shopping to read the labels carefully. I know on our Magical Welcome Dollhouse the packaging was designed to make it look like it included all the characters and a bunch of furniture. It didn’t. From what I can tell from these pictures, the packaging for the Windows Surprise house is similarly misleading.

In short, good luck out there! I hope when your kids open their toys this holiday season, there are no meltdowns resulting in a week-long search for the figurine of a secondary tv character.

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TV Tuesday: Swiper, No Swiping

Has there ever been a foe more stupid than Swiper the Fox? I don’t understand why Boots and Dora worry about Swiper. Most of the time he is forced to stop his swiping ways if they are able to say “Swiper, no swiping!” three times. What sort of life lesson does that teach children? Can you imagine your daughter as an adult yelling “Mugger, no mugging!” three times while someone is snatching her purse? Our kids are going to be so disappointed when this doesn’t work.

If Swiper does manage to swipe, he just throws his goods into the bushes and Dora and Boots are able to reclaim it after a short hunt. Why go to the bother of stealing someone else’s stuff if you aren’t even going to use it? Is it just for the thrill of the steal?

Not that I want much danger in my children’s tv, but if Swiper is going to be a thieving villain, I want him to be an actual menace. I want Dora and Boots to do something legitimate to prevent Swiper from stealing from them. Short of that, if Swiper actually succeeds in swiping, he should keep the loot! Instead, we have this lame villain.

It’s fun to yell “Swiper, no swiping” and to hunt for missing items, I just wish there were actual consequences to Swiper’s thieving ways.

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Toy Industry Rant: Unacceptable Boots Toy

I’ve written before about the unfair Boots/Dora toy ratio in most toy stores and Dora paraphernalia. Since I posted that, I’ve been especially sure to look over the Dora section at the toy store to make sure Boots is underrepresented. He always is. Often he’s not there at all. Then, the other day I discovered this monstrosity.

This is Baby Boots Sitter Dora the Explorer. Dora is Baby Boots baby sitter. What the heck is that all about?

I know I’m reading too much into this, but seriously? No. This is completely and utterly wrong. Boots is the same age as Dora. He is not a baby. He should not be baby-worn by Dora. He is her equal. They are friends. Turning Boots into a baby is degrading to Boots!

Boots should be swinging from trees and singing about adventures. He should not be riding around strapped to Dora’s chest while sucking on a bottle.

This toy is an insult to Boots Monkey! I rather not have Boots on the toy shelf at all than to have this monstrosity smiling down on me. Since when is Dora big enough to be baby-sitting anyway? If there has to be a Baby Boots product, he should be marketed with a Baby Dora product (such a product probably already exists, but I’m just saying).

I know. It’s fun. It’s make-believe. But it’s make-believe in a way that’s… monkey-ist. If there’s a Baby Boots strapped to Dora’s chest, there should be a Dora strapped to Boots’ chest. Why does Boots have to play the baby? It would be one thing if there had been a ton of other Boots products in the store, but this was the only Boots toy there. How unfair and inaccurate to Dora’s co-explorer!

Boots Monkey, I support you in what I’m sure is your outrage over this travesty of a toy! (If only the fictional cartoon show Boots could answer me, right?)

Next time I see a Boots toy in the store, he better be doing something equal to Dora and not just her pawn in some baby-sitting role playing game (which sounds a little perverted, no?). Boots is no sidekick. He’s a co-star and he deserves to be treated with respect!*

*Boots Monkey endorses this statement. He was running for political office, but sadly lost the election Tuesday.

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Kids Play: Woof Woof Backpack

After we got our Build-a-Bear (aka Woof Woof the Puppy), my daughter Lily became obsessed with the online game at http://www.buildabearville.com. I must admit I can’t blame her for loving the game. We got to design a player that looks just like her and a puppy identical to hers rides around in her backpack while her avatar explores Buildabearville.

Ever since the first time we played this game (or rather I played the game and she watched. She was only 2 1/2 when we started doing this), she has been imitating it by stuffing Woof Woof the Build-a-Puppy into a backpack and carrying her with her wherever she goes. Woof Woof’s head must stick out of the backpack and her tummy must touch Lily’s back, just like in the game.

If that weren’t hilariously cute enough, she has crossed her characters. She thinks that if she’s carrying a backpack like Dora, she should also have a map. For a long time, she claimed Woof Woof’s “birth certificate” was a map and wandered around with that. That “map” didn’t last long, so we got her a laminated USA map placemat instead. She constantly carries Woof Woof in the backpack while investigating her map on where to go next. Usually, she talks about flying to California, which doesn’t sound like a bad plan to me.

Sometimes while we are out, people confuse the map for the placemat it technically is. In picnic table situations, it seems like I’ve been brilliant, but truthfully that map has been so many places that the picnic table is probably cleaner! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve almost lost Woof Woof, backpack or map, but somehow we’ve managed to hold on to all three for the past six months!

What bizarre things do your kids do with their toys? Share your stories on this blog by emailing them to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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Voice of Dora Sues Nickelodeon

I just read in this article that Caitlin Sanchez, the voice of Dora starting in 2007, is suing Nickelodeon for what she claims is an unfair contract. Sanchez is 14 and Nickelodeon claims her voice matured too much to continue the part.

What interesting timing considering my TV Tuesday post about the inconsistency of Diego’s voice. I swear I had no idea that this was going on when I wrote my previous post, but thought the readers of this blog should see the “Dora” article if they haven’t already.

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